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My Name is Anna

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'A dark, addictive read, with a real heart at its core. I loved it' – AMY LLOYD, bestselling author of The Innocent Wife _________________________________ Two women – desperate to unlock the truth. How far will they go to lay the past to rest? ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park. She has never been/>/>How/>Two/>


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'A dark, addictive read, with a real heart at its core. I loved it' – AMY LLOYD, bestselling author of The Innocent Wife _________________________________ Two women – desperate to unlock the truth. How far will they go to lay the past to rest? ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park. She has never been/>/>How/>Two/>

30 review for My Name is Anna

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kylie D

    An intriguing thriller about two teenage girls, separated by an ocean, leading vastly different lives. Anna is an 18 year old growing up in Florida, being raised by her deeply religious single mother, whereas Rosie is in London, living with her parents and younger brother, but this existence is overshadowed by the disappearance of her older sister Emily at a theme park in Florida 15 years before. Both young women are searching for the truth, what happened that day 15 years ago. Who is behind Emi An intriguing thriller about two teenage girls, separated by an ocean, leading vastly different lives. Anna is an 18 year old growing up in Florida, being raised by her deeply religious single mother, whereas Rosie is in London, living with her parents and younger brother, but this existence is overshadowed by the disappearance of her older sister Emily at a theme park in Florida 15 years before. Both young women are searching for the truth, what happened that day 15 years ago. Who is behind Emily's disappearance? Who is the mysterious Father Paul? The story slowly unfolds to reveal it's secrets, and the answer, though not a great surprise, still leads us to a satisfying conclusion. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 2.5 stars rounded to 3. This review will be kept brief, as my issues were mainly subjective and I have no interest in swaying a reader from purchasing this book. My hopes were high going into A Girl Named Anna, and this may partially be due to its being marketed as a thriller involving a sinister cult. The cult is indeed sinister, but it doesn't play a major role in the novel until around the 90% mark. The pacing is very slow, which isn't a problem, but this may be due to the fact that this is a myst 2.5 stars rounded to 3. This review will be kept brief, as my issues were mainly subjective and I have no interest in swaying a reader from purchasing this book. My hopes were high going into A Girl Named Anna, and this may partially be due to its being marketed as a thriller involving a sinister cult. The cult is indeed sinister, but it doesn't play a major role in the novel until around the 90% mark. The pacing is very slow, which isn't a problem, but this may be due to the fact that this is a mystery, and perhaps would fall better under the genre of dark women's fiction. I feel it necessary to mention one reason I had to go with a lower rating, and this was due to a major content warning that was unexpected. If you are sensitive to (view spoiler)[ the graphic abuse of infants/small children (hide spoiler)] , then you may want to give this one a hard pass as well. Otherwise, please take my review with a grain of salt and sample one of the many glowing reviews here as a counterbalance to this one! *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Anna has always followed the rules laid out by her “Mamma;” however, when she turns eighteen, she travels to Astroland, a big theme park. She’s immediately struck by how familiar the park seems, and she receives a letter addressed to different name. Rosie’s sister has been missing for years, and her family is torn apart emotionally by the search and lack of answers. It’s fifteen years since her sister went missing, and the anniversary is approaching. Rosie is determined to find her si Anna has always followed the rules laid out by her “Mamma;” however, when she turns eighteen, she travels to Astroland, a big theme park. She’s immediately struck by how familiar the park seems, and she receives a letter addressed to different name. Rosie’s sister has been missing for years, and her family is torn apart emotionally by the search and lack of answers. It’s fifteen years since her sister went missing, and the anniversary is approaching. Rosie is determined to find her sister herself. A Girl Named Anna is written with the emotion you’d expect in a missing child story. It was even more powerful to hear the story in two voices. Even though initially the plot may seem obvious, the details and how it’s unveiled slowly add to the suspense of the narrative. Overall, this is a quick, compulsive, compassionate read. I love an emotional story, and this one was not lacking. It was also unsettling, tense, and engrossing. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pauline

    My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber is a story that kept my gripped from the first page to the last. I could not put it down and read it in one day. Anna lives with her mamma in a house with little comforts and has a very strict religious upbringing. On her eighteenth birthday she goes to a Florida theme park for the first time but remembers having been there once before. Rosie's elder sister Emily disappeared when she was three years old when they were on holiday in Florida and now fiftee My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber is a story that kept my gripped from the first page to the last. I could not put it down and read it in one day. Anna lives with her mamma in a house with little comforts and has a very strict religious upbringing. On her eighteenth birthday she goes to a Florida theme park for the first time but remembers having been there once before. Rosie's elder sister Emily disappeared when she was three years old when they were on holiday in Florida and now fifteen years later she decides that it's time to find out what happened to her sister. This was a very emotional story. The heartbreak that the family had to endure after their child went missing and the consequences that followed for the extended family and friends was very well written and believable. I really enjoyed this book and will be eagerly awaiting Lizzy Barber's next book. I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House UK Cornerstone for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Book of Secrets°ღ

    4.5 Stars → A GIRL NAMED ANNA is an engrossing debut novel that's part mystery and part family drama. At the center of this book is a child abduction and its aftermath for everyone involved. The story alternates between two teenage protagonists: Anna in Florida, being raised by her very religious mother, and Rosie in England, whose older sister Emily vanished 15 years earlier at an amusement park. On this year's anniversary of Emily's disappearance, things happen that propel both girls forward t 4.5 Stars → A GIRL NAMED ANNA is an engrossing debut novel that's part mystery and part family drama. At the center of this book is a child abduction and its aftermath for everyone involved. The story alternates between two teenage protagonists: Anna in Florida, being raised by her very religious mother, and Rosie in England, whose older sister Emily vanished 15 years earlier at an amusement park. On this year's anniversary of Emily's disappearance, things happen that propel both girls forward to find out the truth. This was a suspenseful and emotional book that I couldn't put down! I enjoyed Anna and Rosie's alternating perspectives as their discoveries brought them closer and closer together. Gripping & unsettling! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    On her 18th birthday, Anna defies her Mamma's rules and visits Florida's biggest theme park. She has never been allowed to go, so why, when she arrives, does everything feel so familiar? When she returns home, she receives a note addressing her by a different name, a name she recognises. Rosie has grown up in the shadow of her older sisters disappearance. She was 1 year old when her sister disappeared. They have tried everything in their power to get her back. But Rosie discovers the Trust that On her 18th birthday, Anna defies her Mamma's rules and visits Florida's biggest theme park. She has never been allowed to go, so why, when she arrives, does everything feel so familiar? When she returns home, she receives a note addressing her by a different name, a name she recognises. Rosie has grown up in the shadow of her older sisters disappearance. She was 1 year old when her sister disappeared. They have tried everything in their power to get her back. But Rosie discovers the Trust that was set up for her sister is about to wind down. She decides that she needs to find out the truth behind her sisters disappearance. The story is narrated by both Anna and Rosie. A tale of two sisters torn apart at an early age but the bond between them is still there. Although the book is well written, it does seem a little far fetched at times. The pace is quite slow until nearer the end where it all kicks off. Anna's mother is a character I won't forget very easily. You can't help but think of all the other children who have went missing while your reading this book, and wonder if something like this has happened to them. A story that definitely makes you think. This is an enjoyable read. I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone and the author Lizzy Barber for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

    My name is Anna was my first book by this author and If I'm being honest I enjoyed the first half much more than the second. Telling the story of the aftermath of a young girls abduction and the effect this has on the people impacted by these tragic events we pick up the story fifteen years after the fact. Told from two sisters POV Anna/Emily currently residing with her Mama in the USA and Rosie younger sister of abducted Emily living with her mum dad and brother in the UK. This is mainly the sister's story and as we switch sea My name is Anna was my first book by this author and If I'm being honest I enjoyed the first half much more than the second. Telling the story of the aftermath of a young girls abduction and the effect this has on the people impacted by these tragic events we pick up the story fifteen years after the fact. Told from two sisters POV Anna/Emily currently residing with her Mama in the USA and Rosie younger sister of abducted Emily living with her mum dad and brother in the UK. This is mainly the sister's story and as we switch seamlessly from girl to girl we start to get a sense of the differences that from the same instant in time have impacted both there lives so dramatically and while for the most part, I did enjoy this: It started to get slightly monotonous the further I progressed. I just wasn't fully on board here and I'm not sure quite why that was. It almost had a slightly anti-climactic feel to it especially the finale which for me felt a bit flat. On a sidenote, I did enjoy the Carrie references included with Anna and noticed the parallels included here almost instantly. This, in conclusion, was for me an OK read that never really took flight: hoping its a better fit for you. I voluntary reviewed an Arc of My name is Anna. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/ www.beckiebookworm.com

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mandy White

    I loved My Name is Anna!! I wanted to devour it in one sitting but my eyes had other ideas. Whilst at work I was thinking about what was going to happen next and how the 2 girls were feeling. Another tough story for a parent to read but I just had to know how it ended. It was emotional and had an ending that I didn't see coming. I would have liked it to keep going a few more chapters from where it ended but I just loved it. Told from the point of view of 2 girls in 2 different countri I loved My Name is Anna!! I wanted to devour it in one sitting but my eyes had other ideas. Whilst at work I was thinking about what was going to happen next and how the 2 girls were feeling. Another tough story for a parent to read but I just had to know how it ended. It was emotional and had an ending that I didn't see coming. I would have liked it to keep going a few more chapters from where it ended but I just loved it. Told from the point of view of 2 girls in 2 different countries. Anna is about to o turn 18 and is living in the US with her over protective and church going mother. She has led a very sheltered life but on her 18th birthday she sneaks away with her boyfriend to the local theme park where she has never been allowed to go before. But when they get there it feels really familiar to her and she has no idea why. Then she receives a letter that has her questioning everything in her life. Then there is Rosie who live so in the U.K with her family. 15 years ago her sister went missing, never to be seen again. It is breaking her family apart and she is determined to find out what happened. Thank you to Random House Cornerstone and NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    A highly engrossing debut as both the two main protagonist and the reader simultaneously want to keep delving forward to uncover the truth. As Eighteen year old Anna decides to defy her strict mother’s wishes and plans a trip to ‘Astroland’, one of Florida’s most popular theme parks. During her visit Anna starts to feel like she’s already been there before, surly that’s impossible? Whilst Rosie has always had to live with the knowledge of her missing old sister Emily, A highly engrossing debut as both the two main protagonist and the reader simultaneously want to keep delving forward to uncover the truth. As Eighteen year old Anna decides to defy her strict mother’s wishes and plans a trip to ‘Astroland’, one of Florida’s most popular theme parks. During her visit Anna starts to feel like she’s already been there before, surly that’s impossible? Whilst Rosie has always had to live with the knowledge of her missing old sister Emily, the shadow it casts over her whole family feels even more prevalent as the fifteenth anniversary of her disappearance approaches. It’s pretty obvious really early on what links the two girls, but it’s the search for the truth that is the really driving narrative. As the story flips between each POV, we get a real insight into how different their lives are. Both parts are really interesting but I found the Rosie storyline to be the strongest, the press scrutiny even after all the years still hadn’t abated. A straightforward page turner with a satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I thought this book was really good. It’s split into two narrators - Anna and her sister Rosie. Anna who was called Emily was snatched from Astroland as a toddler and now living with the woman who took her. I won’t reveal much but I really did like both Anna and Rosie. You could tell how completely different their lives were. It was different than what I expected. There was a lot about God, cults and the church which I haven’t read in a thriller yet. The book kept me entertained and I was really I thought this book was really good. It’s split into two narrators - Anna and her sister Rosie. Anna who was called Emily was snatched from Astroland as a toddler and now living with the woman who took her. I won’t reveal much but I really did like both Anna and Rosie. You could tell how completely different their lives were. It was different than what I expected. There was a lot about God, cults and the church which I haven’t read in a thriller yet. The book kept me entertained and I was really interested to find out what happened. I did like the ending and I’m glad the bad characters got their comeuppance. It was so good and I definitely recommend this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber is a thriller that did not grab me not saying that it wasnt well written but i didnt care for the characters both leading different lives, the story was told by 2 POV's Anna & Rosie. For me it just dragged a bit especially in the first half of the book, the prose was good but i figured out the mystery early which was disappointing thus a 3 star rating, thats not to say i wouldnt read anything else by this author i would it was just so predicta My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber is a thriller that did not grab me not saying that it wasnt well written but i didnt care for the characters both leading different lives, the story was told by 2 POV's Anna & Rosie. For me it just dragged a bit especially in the first half of the book, the prose was good but i figured out the mystery early which was disappointing thus a 3 star rating, thats not to say i wouldnt read anything else by this author i would it was just so predictable which i hate. I know this has a lot of high reviews but this was a but below my expectations.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

    *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber. (2018). Anna has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But the day she turns 18, she breaks her mother's rules and visits a theme park. She's never been allowed to go, so why does it all seem so familiar? Is there a connection to the random letter she gets later that day? Rosie has grown up in the shado *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber. (2018). Anna has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But the day she turns 18, she breaks her mother's rules and visits a theme park. She's never been allowed to go, so why does it all seem so familiar? Is there a connection to the random letter she gets later that day? Rosie has grown up in the shadow of her missing sister Emily. It's been 15 years since she disappeared and Rosie is determined to uncover the truth. This is a very intriguing mystery/suspense/crime/psychological thriller (yes, it fits all these boxes haha). It was in fact the winner of the 2017 Daily Mail first novel competition which is an awesome achievement. I think it was quite obvious the connection between Anna and Emily even from the synopsis and the line on the front cover " what if your whole life was a lie?"; the book was more about working out why and how the events happened. There are a lot of questions to answer throughout the storyline including but not limited to who exactly the mysterious sinister 'Father Paul' is who keeps popping up. The story is narrated by Anna and Rosie in alternate chapters and both girls were interesting likeable leads to follow as they respectively try to discover the truth. I found the ending a little abrupt and would have liked to have known more about what would have followed but overall I definitely enjoyed this book and look forward to future books by the author. Thriller fans will appreciate this gripping novel.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    If you like psychological suspense, then this debut novel by Lizzy Barber is the book for you. I rarely reread the synopsis before I got into a new read - I figure if I have it, there was some reason I wanted it so I just go in blind. For some reason, I decided to reread the synopsis on this one (I think because I have about 3 different books on my TBR with the name Anna in the title) and I'm glad that I did because knowing this is suspense fiction definitely made a difference rather than expect If you like psychological suspense, then this debut novel by Lizzy Barber is the book for you. I rarely reread the synopsis before I got into a new read - I figure if I have it, there was some reason I wanted it so I just go in blind. For some reason, I decided to reread the synopsis on this one (I think because I have about 3 different books on my TBR with the name Anna in the title) and I'm glad that I did because knowing this is suspense fiction definitely made a difference rather than expecting the typical faster paced thriller. From the synopsis we pretty much see we are going to be getting Rosie and Anna's stories and the chapters vary back and forth between their POVs. You already know where the book is going, it's the journey to why these things have happened that will keep you riveted. Admittedly, this book burns slooooowly. It wasn't until around the halfway point that I was feeling slightly hooked. It's pretty obvious where this book is going but I have to say - Barber does a fantastic job in really making you feel for these girls. Rosie, who is always in the shadow of her sister Emily, who has been missing for 15 years. Anna, whose mother is overly protective, is extremely sheltered and has a weird feeling about her past, something her mother hates to talk about. A plot line gets in, which is similar to ones we've seen before (you'll have to read this to know what I'm talking about), but it is always one that fascinates me. Ultimately, as an avid suspense/thriller reader, there's nothing really new here. HOWEVER, Barber writes exceptionally well and I applaud how well she pulled these all together and I did feel my heart strings pulled a few times at that ending.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)

    There a giveaway for this book up on my INSTA! I knew upon reading the synopsis that this was going to be one I’d have to read. I have a bit of a thing for mysteries revolving around strange and powerful religious cults. Books involving child abductions almost always prove to be emotional and gripping reads. I went into it with fingers crossed that one with both would be a win-win. I was not disappointed. The first thing I’ll comment on is Lizzy Barber’s writing style. It’s difficul There a giveaway for this book up on my INSTA! I knew upon reading the synopsis that this was going to be one I’d have to read. I have a bit of a thing for mysteries revolving around strange and powerful religious cults. Books involving child abductions almost always prove to be emotional and gripping reads. I went into it with fingers crossed that one with both would be a win-win. I was not disappointed. The first thing I’ll comment on is Lizzy Barber’s writing style. It’s difficult to put a finger on but it’s elegant and eloquent without being flowery. I found myself drawn in from the very first paragraphs. Dual perspective books written in the present tense can be difficult to pull off. I think it worked very well here and serve to intensify the level of suspense. As for the story itself, it provided just the right amount of creep factor. I loved that I was not required to suspend disbelief in order to become invested. This also speaks to the fact that A Girl Named Anna is really more dramatic suspense than thriller. Don’t let that fool you though — there were a few moments that were as edge-of-the-seat suspenseful as any in a classic thriller. The page-turning factor was high and lasted from the first page to the very last! I personally loved that, though perhaps somewhat unlikely in terms of exact timing, etc., this is a story that could actually happen. (Yes, I watch a lot of Investigation Discovery.) The characters were incredibly well-drawn. It might have been easy to stereotype certain characters (religious zealot, cult leader, pastor’s family) but Lizzy Barber thoughtfully avoided doing so. I really loved this book and give it an enthusiastic recommendation to fans of a multitude of genres from thriller to women’s fiction and even literary fiction if the reader is looking for something with a little extra twist. It was an impressive read by an standards but even more so as a debut. I am already looking forward to Ms. Barber’s next book! Many thanks to MIRA Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.

  15. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5 When I started A Girl Named Anna by Lizzy Barber I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but what I got was a slow-burn that quickly picked up speed and an ending that leaves you wanting more. A Girl Named Anna is about two girls living very different lives. Anna lives in a small city in Florida with her Mamma who is very religious and makes Anna live by many rules. Rosie lives in the UK and is haunted by the disappearance of her sister fifteen years prior. I really liked how both s/>A ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 When I started A Girl Named Anna by Lizzy Barber I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but what I got was a slow-burn that quickly picked up speed and an ending that leaves you wanting more. A Girl Named Anna is about two girls living very different lives. Anna lives in a small city in Florida with her Mamma who is very religious and makes Anna live by many rules. Rosie lives in the UK and is haunted by the disappearance of her sister fifteen years prior. I really liked how both stories are brought together in the book and it was very interesting reading from both viewpoints. I guess this would be considered young adult since the viewpoints are both teenagers, but it read a bit more like adult to me. A Girl Named Anna was a pretty fast read and I read it in just over 4 hours so easily a one sitting read for most people. I thought it started on the slow side but then it picked up steam and when that happened it made the two viewpoints even better. Even during the slower parts, I still really enjoyed it so don't be turned off by that! You know most of what is going on before you get too far into the book, but it still managed to throw me a few twists that I didn't see coming. There are moments that I would consider pulse-pounding, but overall I was expecting a little bit more than what I got. However, the ending was fantastically done, and I could definitely see this turning into more books if the author would so choose. I know I would read them! Song/s the book brought to mind: Break Me Shake Me by Savage Garden Final Thought: A Girl Named Anna is going to be perfect for mystery lovers that don't mind teenage protagonists. I think this book is best read mostly blind, so don't take my word for it - go on and read it yourself! Thank you to The Book Drop https://www.thebookdrop.com/ for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own. If you would like to subscribe to The Book Drop you can use my code RBW10 to save 10%!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jamie beauty_andthebook_

    2.5 Stars Once again, another book marketed as a thriller that is really not. My Name is Anna is much more a story of a kidnapping and the search for answers and reality than a true thriller. From the synopsis this book offers, I expected twisty cult drama and taut suspense, which was not what I got with this one. The writing was sharp but I picked this one up looking for some good suspense and being that in that mindset, I truly felt let down. Be sure to go into this one knowing that 2.5 Stars Once again, another book marketed as a thriller that is really not. My Name is Anna is much more a story of a kidnapping and the search for answers and reality than a true thriller. From the synopsis this book offers, I expected twisty cult drama and taut suspense, which was not what I got with this one. The writing was sharp but I picked this one up looking for some good suspense and being that in that mindset, I truly felt let down. Be sure to go into this one knowing that and I think it’ll be more successful for you. Thank you to Harlequin for providing a review copy. All opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shalini

    This book had all the makings of a thriller which caused the heart to beat at a strange rhythm especially when I knew that things were reaching a point where secrets had to be revealed. A child Emily kidnapped from a ride in a theme park on a vacation to Florida, 15 years ahead, the family in London was still ravaged by the loss when Rosie the sister decided to get to the truth. Across the river in Florida, Anna lead a biblical life with a fanatic mother who was obsessed with cleanliness and dir This book had all the makings of a thriller which caused the heart to beat at a strange rhythm especially when I knew that things were reaching a point where secrets had to be revealed. A child Emily kidnapped from a ride in a theme park on a vacation to Florida, 15 years ahead, the family in London was still ravaged by the loss when Rosie the sister decided to get to the truth. Across the river in Florida, Anna lead a biblical life with a fanatic mother who was obsessed with cleanliness and dirt and germs to the point of cruelty. A routine life that was soon broken by memories.... The story was told in Anna and Rosie's POV by author Lizzy Barber. It was obvious from the very beginning where the story would go, but the reasons for the decisions were still unknown, and that captured my interest along with Lizzy's crisp and fast writing. My niggles had to be remarked on. There were a few subplots linked to a cult-like church which I skimmed over. And the story gave me a sense of deja vu. I have read similar stories before. Even with a predictable formulaic storyline, the fast pace kept me hooked to the book. Enjoyable.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ingstje

    4.5 stars rounded up. Most surprising novel of the year so far! I loved this debut, it was so much deeper and darker than I thought it would be. A story always has two sides and I was thrilled the author didn’t choose to write this magnificent story in a single narrative but opted for a dual narrative by Anna and Rosie, sharing their own individual story in alternating chapters. Their very different, contrasting lives made for fascinating reading and the anticipation of seeing th 4.5 stars rounded up. Most surprising novel of the year so far! I loved this debut, it was so much deeper and darker than I thought it would be. A story always has two sides and I was thrilled the author didn’t choose to write this magnificent story in a single narrative but opted for a dual narrative by Anna and Rosie, sharing their own individual story in alternating chapters. Their very different, contrasting lives made for fascinating reading and the anticipation of seeing these threads come together was agonizing. As a reader I knew more than the main protagonists right from the start so I had to wait a while for one of the girls to catch up with what I already knew and some readers might perhaps find it a bit of a slow start but it's oh so important to watch the whole thing unfold in its own time, it's essential to see how that seed of doubt develops, grows and is cultivated. It can’t be rushed or it wouldn’t be believable anymore so I tried to resist the urge for a quick progression and my desire to see the storylines cross-over. The buildup was subtle and let me see the many nuances in the girls' lives. Not only were they raised on different continents, they were raised very differently as well. You can't miss what you don't have but my heart went out to Anna because I knew of course what they were both missing. As I turned the pages I  was overcome with a sad feeling thinking how different both their lives could have been. Anna lives with her religious neat-freak mother and she's destined to lead a strict and frugal life. I didn't envy her life and I certainly didn't like her mother. Rosie on the other hand was raised in a warm and affectionate family, she smokes, drinks and goes to parties (without her mum knowing). She'll never be like other teenagers though, the fact that her sister is missing casts a big shadow on their family. The grief of this entire broken family of parents, a sister and even the brother who doesn't even know the missing girl was so touchingly described that it made my heart ache. I was hugely awarded for my initial patience because the last part of the novel was terrific. The story intensified gradually with the help of two other narrators who help reveal the backstory and the reasons why this happened 15 years earlier. It made such compelling reading! I might have had my judgement at the ready from page 1 but hearing the full story that led to the kidnapping, it changed my initial views and condemnation. Never judge a book by its cover, or in this case, by the facts. I'm not saying I'm agreeing with what Anna's mother did but at least I can say I have some understanding. My Name Is Anna made me feel a wide range of emotions and quite surprisingly the story turns more and more dangerous. Who does Anna have to be afraid of though? Her mother or this mystery man who knows who she is? The story builds to an amazing climax too that made me hold my breath. Gripping and tense, check and check! I'm very happy with the way it ended, I loved the epilogue. It could have ended differently or the author could have written clichés to give the story a 'happy ever after' ending with no further thought but she didn't and that's what makes it so much better and made me close the novel with a sigh of contentment.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Frank Phillips

    3.5 Stars rounded down

  20. 4 out of 5

    Denise Reed

    I love debut works, especially suspense/thrillers, as I am always interested to see if an author can pull off taking a rather tired topic, and making it fresh and new. For me, this book fell somewhere in between the two. While there were some good moments in the book, way too much is given away just by reading the back of the book, and unfortunately, without a complete suspension of reality, much of the book is unbelievable, at best. The book begins with Anna, who has always been taug I love debut works, especially suspense/thrillers, as I am always interested to see if an author can pull off taking a rather tired topic, and making it fresh and new. For me, this book fell somewhere in between the two. While there were some good moments in the book, way too much is given away just by reading the back of the book, and unfortunately, without a complete suspension of reality, much of the book is unbelievable, at best. The book begins with Anna, who has always been taught that her mamma’s strict rules are the only path to follow, on her eighteenth birthday, defying her mother for the first time in her life and going to nearby amusement park, Astroland, with her boyfriend, Will. As she has never been allowed to visit Florida’s most popular amusement park, she doesn't understand why everything about it seems familiar. Then, coincidentally (eye roll), on that same day, a creepy, mysterious man hands her a letter addressing her by a different name. This series of events makes Anna suspicious of her past, and thus begins her quest to find out the truth. Meanwhile, in London, Rosie has grown up in the shadow of the abducted sister she barely remembers, and her family has been severely fractured by years of unsuccessful searching. On the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the family funds dedicated to the search are running out, so teenage Rosie attempts to uncover the truth herself. {SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT} The story is told in alternating POV -Anna and Rosie. Anna's chapters are the more intriguing of the two - Rosie's are pure fluff. The biggest issue for me was that in the age of the internet, much of the plot did not make sense. For example, at Astroland, Anna has a recollection of being there before, and the name, Emily. She tells her boyfriend that she thinks she may have been abducted as a child, and her boyfriend's first reaction is to go to the internet and pull up a random article about manufactured memories - say what?? How about doing an internet search with key words, "Emily, Astroland, missing girl." Boom - mystery solved. Especially as so much of Rosie's story focused on the media circus that had continued for fifteen years, so it wasn't as if there was a big secret as to what happened to Emily. And I won't even get started on Rosie's search and her interactions with the internet conspiracy theorists - again, if you can suspend all common sense, then it might make sense to you, but for me, it was a no-go. There were a few subplots involving a cult-like church, which I found interesting, but there again, the Pastor Paul - Mamma relationship was bizarre and generally inexplicable. There were also some references to some pretty twisted child abuse, which while they were not overly graphic, they were still disturbing. Overall, this was a super short book that I read in one sitting, and I liked Barber's crisp writing style. For me, it just missed the mark in regard to the believability factor . As this is her debut novel though, I am interested to see how Barber grows as a writer and would definitely be open to reading more of her works in the future. 3 stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    Excited to have won this book in a Goodreads giveaway! Looking forward to reading and reviewing it soon!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Mmmmmmmm, an interesting but at times uncomfortable story of a girl kidnapped from a Florida Theme Park 15 years ago... The story is told in 2 halves, one chapter from ‘Anna’s’ narrative the other from the Sister, Rosie’s. Anna is in America and Rosie in London so the differences in narrative style keeps you on your toes as you swop continents The story is there for you from the beginning and then you work backwards from the present day to the day of the kidnapping ( and before ) Mmmmmmmm, an interesting but at times uncomfortable story of a girl kidnapped from a Florida Theme Park 15 years ago... The story is told in 2 halves, one chapter from ‘Anna’s’ narrative the other from the Sister, Rosie’s. Anna is in America and Rosie in London so the differences in narrative style keeps you on your toes as you swop continents The story is there for you from the beginning and then you work backwards from the present day to the day of the kidnapping ( and before ) Mamma ( the American one ) is portrayed wonderfully, if scarily, as a ‘Carrie’ type Mum whilst the UK Mum is just about coping 15 years on The use of the internet and forums in the story is fascinating as people ‘air their ideas’....but someone knows more than they are saying.... The outcome of why Anna was taken is scary and even more so as its believable and the conclusion of the book moving and a little sad tbh A darkly intense story that kept me involved and wanting to know how, why, what for and what will happen now

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ludwig

    “...and there it was: the missing piece...something that convinced me it wasn’t a dream at all. It was a memory.” A Girl Named Anna is an emotionally-driven, well-written story about a missing girl called Anna, and the journey her sister has to go through. To find her. To discover the truth about what happened to her fifteen years ago when she mysteriously vanished from Florida's biggest theme park. The book is told through the POVs of both sisters. Did someone take Anna? Where is Anna? You know when you finish a book and you just get what/>A “...and there it was: the missing piece...something that convinced me it wasn’t a dream at all. It was a memory.” A Girl Named Anna is an emotionally-driven, well-written story about a missing girl called Anna, and the journey her sister has to go through. To find her. To discover the truth about what happened to her fifteen years ago when she mysteriously vanished from Florida's biggest theme park. The book is told through the POVs of both sisters. Did someone take Anna? Where is Anna? You know when you finish a book and you just get what the author is trying to communicate? That's how I felt with this book; there's a challenging concept lying between the lines of this novel: There are two types of mothers. Whose side are you on? There's a flashback where harm is done to a baby. I have to say, that was what got to me the most. That scene...I can't imagine anyone being that cruel. Through that feeling, I began to root for a character I've been misjudging since the beginning. This particular character - with their meticulously detailed background - will most certainly stay with me for years to come. Stories about missing girls shatter me every time and I still somehow gravitate to them, but here we have a heart-rending answer to the question: why would someone want to take your child? However, the ending was satisfying but I still felt a bit uneasy- what will become of Anna? There are things that will pull at your heart-strings along the way, but they somewhat make us stay more aware of the people we care about. The message is brought out swiftly through a melancholic atmosphere, in addition to a creepy discovery that will make your heart race all the way to the end.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jamele (BookswithJams)

    This book gripped me right from the start and was absolutely fascinating until the very end! What an interesting concept, to follow a girl that has been taken, as well as the family that she was taken from and show how it has affected all of them over the years. Things are coming to a head as we are nearing the fifteenth anniversary of the disappearance, and emotions are high all around. But what really set this apart and took it to the next level for me was the fact that a cult was thrown into This book gripped me right from the start and was absolutely fascinating until the very end! What an interesting concept, to follow a girl that has been taken, as well as the family that she was taken from and show how it has affected all of them over the years. Things are coming to a head as we are nearing the fifteenth anniversary of the disappearance, and emotions are high all around. But what really set this apart and took it to the next level for me was the fact that a cult was thrown into the mix. I was losing my mind y’all this was so good!! There were several moments in here that my heart was literally POUNDING due to the suspense. Rosie, what are you thinking? Anna, omg you are 18 you can JUST GO! There were several moments when I wanted to scream at the people in here, but I can’t say why without spoiling, so just trust me. Y’all, this is Barber’s debut novel, and it is BEYOND good. I absolutely recommend this, if you couldn’t tell. I would also like to point out that the only reason I am aware of this book is because of my monthly subscription to The Book Drop and this was September’s coffee selection. Just saying.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This was a 2019 Sept MyBookBox Mystery selection. A Girl Named Anne is told from the viewpoint of two girls. One, Anna, whose story is slightly more important, and a second, Rosie, whose voice is far more engaging. The story centers on what happened to Rosie's missing sister, Emily, who went missing when Rosie's British family was visiting Astroland (aka Harry Potter land aka Star Wars World aka Disney World) It is not a bad book, and many people loved it, but I found it to be, well This was a 2019 Sept MyBookBox Mystery selection. A Girl Named Anne is told from the viewpoint of two girls. One, Anna, whose story is slightly more important, and a second, Rosie, whose voice is far more engaging. The story centers on what happened to Rosie's missing sister, Emily, who went missing when Rosie's British family was visiting Astroland (aka Harry Potter land aka Star Wars World aka Disney World) It is not a bad book, and many people loved it, but I found it to be, well, a bit boring. In part this is because the reveal kept to too late in the book; therefore, relying on the characters of Anna and Rosie. And I found Anna's voice to be so boring. In part this is because of the circumstances, but there is no life in those chapters as there is with Rosie's. But Rosie's chapters, in retrospect, don't really contribute that much to the plot, so there's that. I can understand it is to show the effect on the family left behind but that gets quickly overwhelmed by Anna's which is (1) not surprising and (2) somewhat disappointing. I wanted more from those chapters instead simply becoming an appendage to Anna's story. The really good part of the book is Rosie's friendship with Kiera. That relationship is so wonderfully written and beautiful. It is the most solid part of the book. halloween bingo 2019

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

    Well.. what can I say about this book? My hopes were extremely high going into this book. For one I LOVE that cover! But, the story inside wasn't as juicy as I was hoping :(. The first half the book dragged on for me and I just couldn't connect to the characters. I don't necessarily think this should be marketed as thriller more dark women's fiction in my opinion. So, please know that going in that this isn't a thriller. Also, there was major content warning... if you're sensitive to Well.. what can I say about this book? My hopes were extremely high going into this book. For one I LOVE that cover! But, the story inside wasn't as juicy as I was hoping :(. The first half the book dragged on for me and I just couldn't connect to the characters. I don't necessarily think this should be marketed as thriller more dark women's fiction in my opinion. So, please know that going in that this isn't a thriller. Also, there was major content warning... if you're sensitive to child abuse and animal abuse I would probably take a hard pass on this. I don't think I would have read this unfortunately if I would have been aware of the triggers. It was also marketed about having sinister cult.. which it does but this doesn't really come into play until maybe the last 90 percent of the book. Overall, was a tad disappointed in this one. 2.5 stars rounded up to 3. Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin/Mira for the arc in exchange for an honest review. Publication date: 9/3/19 Published to GR: 8/31/19

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Robertson

    My Name is Anna is a stunning debut novel that I defy you not to lose yourself in and read in one session. It’s an involving, character driven mystery that is so beautifully written it’s impossible not to fall in love with these two young girls as they struggle to make sense of their life changing discoveries. There’s a fascinating and very current feel to the plot line and, as I’ve always been drawn to real life cases where missing children are searched for by their families, it was My Name is Anna is a stunning debut novel that I defy you not to lose yourself in and read in one session. It’s an involving, character driven mystery that is so beautifully written it’s impossible not to fall in love with these two young girls as they struggle to make sense of their life changing discoveries. There’s a fascinating and very current feel to the plot line and, as I’ve always been drawn to real life cases where missing children are searched for by their families, it was a must read for me. The computer generated images of how loved ones will hopefully have aged always breaks my heart when I see them, whilst wondering what the reality of the comparison would really be. Families are often torn apart by the disappearance or murder of a child, as often feelings of guilt overwhelm any strong connection between the parents, so it was interesting to meet the Archer family and realise that they were still a complete family unit. Saying that, it’s a far from normal atmosphere for their children to grow up in and Rosie plus her brother Rob have to deal with the constant media attention so that they are constantly living with the disappearance of their sister Emily. The other narrator we follow is 18 year old Anna. Anna lives in Florida with her God fearing mother in a very strict household but has always accepted this way of life. That is until a rebellious trip to a local theme park with her boyfriend makes her question everything that has gone on before. I loved watching Anna as a character as she became more independent from her controlling parent and, although I found her mother a difficult person to warm to at first, as the plot developed I couldn’t help but feel a certain sympathy for the life she had lived and the reasons behind it. Although it’s obvious both these girls are connected in some way, I never lowered my guard to the possibility of further twists to the plot. And as the situation became clearer, my emotions were torn, watching as the build up to the powerful and affecting denouement exploded with a harrowing and heartbreaking outcome. This dramatic but poignant storyline means that My Name is Anna is a book you will find extremely difficult to put down whilst also being one that will leave you reflecting on the choices and decisions made. Lizzy Barber didn’t, thankfully, make her ending too melodramatic with all the ends of her threads neatly tied off which I appreciated as it felt more authentic. My Name is Anna is a contemplative and keenly observed debut novel that really stood out for me and has me excited for future books by Lizzy Barber! A brilliant read!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elli (Kindig Blog)

    Anna lives in a strictly religious household and loves her mamma, but after her 18th birthday she starts to have some memories she can’t quite place – is everything really as it seems? I found My Name is Anna to be a very frustrating read, it’s an interesting concept and actually a quite a good story but the entire progression of the plot could be guessed before you even pick up the book! The blurb gives enough away that when the reveal comes at 60% of the way through you have no reac Anna lives in a strictly religious household and loves her mamma, but after her 18th birthday she starts to have some memories she can’t quite place – is everything really as it seems? I found My Name is Anna to be a very frustrating read, it’s an interesting concept and actually a quite a good story but the entire progression of the plot could be guessed before you even pick up the book! The blurb gives enough away that when the reveal comes at 60% of the way through you have no reaction, I then sat there waiting for another, better twist to come along later in the book and completely blow me away but it never did. I don’t think this is entirely the fault of the blurb however, having the chapters change perspectives between Rosie and Anna meant you could guess who they were and the link between them two chapters in as well. I think perhaps had the first half of the book just been about Anna and then Rosie was introduced later on, it would have kept up the suspense and tension a lot more. The writing style was very engaging and I finished it in two sittings. There were some things that irritated me throughout though. Do we really need to patronise the reader by writing out the dictionary definition of ‘false memories’ (basically amounting to ‘a memory that is false’) twice? Would a teenager be talking about putting a photo up on Instagram one minute and then worrying they haven’t written down a number for a taxi the next (Uber and Google are also on phones I hear). The last chapter also randomly changes perspective at the last moment which is out of keeping with the rest of the book. Overall if you’ve read the blurb of My Name is Anna then you already know the plot and there isn’t much else the book has to offer besides. It’s a good concept and an engaging, quick read but let down by revealing its twists before you even pick it up. Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK – Cornerstone and Century for allowing me to read a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review. For more of my reviews, please go to www.kindig.co.uk

  29. 4 out of 5

    KC

    Growing up in a rural community, being raised by a woman who is often an overbearing religious extremist, Anna begins to feel an overwhelming sense of dread that she may not be who her mother claims she is. For twelve years, Rosie has always wondered what happened to her missing sister Emily and finally sets forth to uncover the mystery of her abduction. Two girls, thousands of miles apart, each searching for the truth. For those who enjoy Megan Miranda and Gilly Macmillan.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Moyes

    Exciting and gripping story! The book is set in the UK and USA and takes a bit of thought to get into the story.  It is told from the point of view of two girls, Anna and Rosie, who experienced very different childhoods from each other.   I enjoyed the twists running through the book. The story touches on heartbreak, friendship, family, loss and love.  I would highly recommend.Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK and Lizzy Barber for the opportunity to read and review this novel pri Exciting and gripping story!
 The book is set in the UK and USA and takes a bit of thought to get into the story.  It is told from the point of view of two girls, Anna and Rosie, who experienced very different childhoods from each other.   
I enjoyed the twists running through the book. The story touches on heartbreak, friendship, family, loss and love.  I would highly recommend.
Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK and Lizzy Barber for the opportunity to read and review this novel prior to publication.

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